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PARIS, Singapore and Hong Kong are the world’s most expensive cities, a new survey has found. Researchers looked at the prices of 150 items in 133 cities round the globe including the cost of food, clothing, transport and utility bills. Caracas, the capital of crisis-hit Venezuela, is rated as the cheapest city in the world, with prices only slightly higher

in the Syrian city of Damascus. The ranking of the world’s most expensive cities has been put together by The Economist Intelligence Unit for its 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. The most expensive locations are largely split between Asia and Europe.

Zurich and Geneva, both in Switzerland are in fourth and fifth place.Also in joint fifth is Osaka, followed by Seoul, Copenhagen and New York in joint seventh place. Israeli city Tel Aviv and Los Angeles share 10th place.

Elsewhere, the slight appreciation in the pound has been enough to cause increases in domestic prices and pushes London (22nd) and Manchester (51st) up the ranking by eight and five spots, respectively. London is still 14 per cent cheaper than New York overall. Istanbul moved down the ranking by 48 places, plummeting to 120th position as a result of uncontrollably high inflation. Other sharp falls were Sweden, with Stockholm falling to 56th place from 37th last year, owing to economic contraction driven by an acute decline in private consumption.

Economic sanctions imposed on Russia continue to have an impact on the cost of living there. Moscow (102nd) remains 45 per cent cheaper (relative to New York), falling by 16 spots in the ranking in the past year. St Petersburg (112th) follows at 50 per cent cheaper than New York and down by 14 places. Sofia, another big mover, has climbed in the rankings 29 spots to joint 90th as prices for groceries, utilities and recreation rose to meet west European standards in anticipation of the country adopting the euro in the coming years.

At the bottom of the ranking, joining

Caracas and Damascus among the cheapest cities, are Almaty in Kazakhstan and Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Roxana Slavcheva, the editor of the survey, said: “We note converging costs in traditionally more expensive cities like Paris, Singapore, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen and Hong Kong. It is a testament to globalisation and the similar- ity of tastes and shopping patterns. Even in locations where shopping for groceries may be relatively cheaper, utilities or transportation prices drive up overall cost of living. More remarkable is the severe fall in the ranking of emerging economy cities — Istanbul, Tashkent, Moscow and St Petersburg — owing to sustained high inflations and currency depreciations.”

Researchers looked at the prices of 150 items

The Economist Intelligence Unit has put together a list of the world’s most expensive cities for its 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey

  • Mail Today
  • 21 Mar 2019

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